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Monday, October 29, 2012

Math, Maps, and Learning Teams-October 30, 2012


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                              

Last Wednesday as students arrived for school, I asked them to think of a math word that started with the letter “b” for Wear-a-Word-Wednesday.  I was hoping to spark their math thinking before they picked up their math word sticker inside but I was getting some interesting responses.  “Brazil!” and “Bhuton!” were both answers and it took me a while before I realized kids had MAPS on their minds for Passport Check Day.  From our volunteer doing mini-math vocabulary lessons to our team of Passport Club map quizzers, our school was abuzz with activity.  Exciting things were happening at school that day!  In fact, as I visited classes last week, students were learning and teachers were teaching.  My weekend ended as I observed the second and third graders gathered in the pod singing together.  There are not many better ways to end a week than hearing two hundred voices reciting a poem or singing a song in unison.  Life is good at Sexton Mountain School.

The adults in our building were busy learning last week too!  At one of our bi-weekly staff meetings each month, teachers will be learning about the national Common Core Standards (CCS).  This month we learned about moving toward the CCS in writing and what that will look like at each level.  Between now and February, teachers will be gathering student work for a moderated scoring session with others at the same grade level across the District.   When teams of teachers come together to look at student work and share practice, great things happen for kids.  In addition to staff meetings, we are finding other ways to carve out time to meet as Learning Teams.

During the development of the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, the community and School Board identified college and career readiness for all as the outcome for students in the Beaverton School District. The core strategy for achieving this outcome was identified as teacher collaboration, or Learning Teams.

In order to build shared knowledge and understanding about the role of Learning Teams in individual student learning, the District will provide various learning opportunities for parents and community members. Each school will host a parent/community meeting this fall to engage in conversations about Learning Teams. Principals and teachers will address questions as well as take suggestions from parents and community members regarding Learning Teams.  Following the PTC meeting this Friday, I will provide an information session on Learning Teams.  Look for more information about Learning Teams in upcoming newsletters as well.

In addition to our PTC meeting this week, there will be many opportunities to come to school. Please remember that EACH and EVERY time you come to school, you wear your volunteer badge or pick up a visitor’s sticker.  We want our staff and children to know that you have checked in at the office.  We also ask that all adults remind those in the building to be properly identified.  If we are in the habit of following this expectation, we will create a safer environment for our students.  Thanks so much for ALL you do to make our school a special place for our kids!

Take Care,

Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
a.k.a. Mrs. C.-B.
Upcoming Events
November 2        CEC Meeting at 9:00am
November 2        PTC Meeting at 9:30am
November 2   Learning Teams Presentation Following PTC meeting in Portable 6
November 9        Staff Development Day-No School
November 12     Holiday-No School
November 14 Passport Club Check Day(Grades 3,4,5)
November 16 Family Dance 6:30-8:30pm
The Family Dance is intended to bring families together for a fun, social opportunity.  Parents will stay with children and enjoy time as a family so that everyone has fun.  The evening will start with a special time from 6:30-7:00pm just for kindergarten students.  Wiggles songs, the Chicken Dance, and songs targets for the younger group will be featured during this time. The success of the event is dependent on volunteers.  If you can help, contact Kate at
November 21 Budget Reduction Day-No School
November 22  Thanksgiving Holiday-No School
November 23 School Closed-No School
November 30 Holiday Bazaar
December 3  Grading Day-No School
December 2-7  Beaverton Elks Canned Food Drive
December 7 Barnes and Noble Family Literacy Night and Book Fair (at Tanasbourne) 4:00-8:00pm
December 19 Passport Club Check Day(Grades 3,4,5)
December 20 Spirit Assembly at 8:25
December 21 First Day of Winter Vacation (Yes this is a Friday with no school.)

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·          Volunteer to organize our storage portable wanted.   If organizing is your gift, contact Mrs. CB.
·          Donation of bird’s nests (we are hoping to collect 36 by January) for a school-wide writing project.  Please send them in a zip lock bag.
·          Donation of $10 Powell’s or Barnes and Noble gift cards for Ms. Kimball to use as prizes for the Adopt a Bookshelf Program.
·          Donation of photos of Oregon Mountain ranges.  We still need the Steins, Siskiyous, and Strawberry mountain ranges.  Did you know that in the early years of Sexton Mountain School, each pod was named after a mountain range?
·          Volunteer needed to make math vocabulary posters for Wear a Word Wednesday.  This is a job that can be done entirely at home after picking up the materials from school.
·          Volunteer needed to make math stickers for Wear a Word Wednesday.  This job can be done at school or home but access to Microsoft Word is needed.
Thanks to:
·          Thanks to Steve Rawley for the beautiful picture of Mt. Hood.  As we move back to returning pod names to the Oregon mountain ranges they were originally named after, this picture will help kids understand the beauty of our state.
·          Thank you to the Namdar and Vondecamp families for generously donating gently used children’s books for classroom libraries.  Books in the kids of hands—a very good thing!
·          Kudos to Trisha Thompson for cleaning up the staff room each afternoon.  You save teacher’s time and that is a true gift!!
·          Thanks to Stacy Namdar for a beautiful picture of the Blue Mountains.  This picture shows that eastern Oregon is not only beautiful but also shows evidence that agriculture is a chief contributor to the economy and continues to be a way of life for many of the state’s residents.
District Goal for 2010-2015:  All students will show continuous progress toward their personal learning goals, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, and will be prepared for post-secondary education and career success.
The Beaverton School District recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups.  It is the policy of the Beaverton School District that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status, age, veterans' status, genetic information or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. 

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